Alexa M. Mieses – Owner/Director
Ballet / Pointe / Classical Variations / EBAS
Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Alexa began her training in classical ballet at a very early age at the Academia de Ballet Tanya under the direction of Tanya Beléndez. Throughout the years, she has had the opportunity to train with such master teachers of classical ballet, flamenco, pointe, partnering, character, jazz, and Broadway techniques as Ballet Teatro Municipal de San Juan under the direction of Vanessa Ortiz; Diana Pérez, Nahir Medina, and Rosario Galán; Eglevsky Ballet Company under the instruction of Jane Miller, Michael Vernon, Elizabeta Calero, and Nahir Medina; Ballet Austin in Texas and at The University of Wisconsin in Madison. Alexa has been invited to perform as a guest artist for Ballet Teatro Municipal de San Juan, Compañia de Baile Moderno in Puerto Rico, as well as a soloist for the Jacksonville Ballet Theater (JBT) under the direction of Dulce Anaya. She has also performed locally in Jacksonville’s Community Nutcracker.
Alexa began teaching ballet at the age of fourteen and has taught dance in Jacksonville since 2006. She taught ballet for seven years at Boleros Cultural Arts Center for the Theater Dance Department and has also been a guest ballet instructor for The Bean School of Dance in Fernandina Beach and Jacksonville Ballet Theater. In 2010, Alexa developed her own specific outreach ballet program for pre-schools throughout the Jacksonville community. Alexa brings her talent, training, experience, and passion for dance to students of all ages. Moreover, Alexa is proud to be the President and Co-Founder of the Alius Dance School and is a Certified Level I Instructor for Scott Putman’s Elemental Body Alignment System (EBAS).
While pursuing her love of dance, Alexa’s personal achievements also include a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from The Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (Structural) from the University of Texas at Austin. Alexa holds a Professional Engineer License in the state of Florida. She is also a devoted wife and proud mother of two wonderful boys, Diego and Sergio.
Sara Hamlin – Lead Teacher
Ballet/ Tap / Jazz
Ms. Sara was born in London, England where she studied at Ballet Rambert. Ms. Sara also modeled in London and appeared in Vogue magazine. After she moved to America, she continued her dance education by taking classes at Boston Ballet School, Rochester School of Ballet, Gainesville City Ballet, Turning Point Dance, and East Coast Ballet before finally finding a home at Alius Dance School.
Ms. Sara also built up the after-school dance program at several schools in St. John’s county including Durban Creek, Hickory Creek, and Julington Creek Elementary Schools. She has also choreographed and presented end-of-year showcases in Jacksonville for the last seventeen years. Ms. Sara is an experienced dance instructor in the areas of primary ballet, tap, and jazz. Ms. Sara has also worked with students to help them gain admission to magnet dance schools and to enter elite dance competitions.
As well as enthusiasm and patience, Ms. Sara brings a sincere wish for all her students to enjoy and excel in the art of dance.
Ballet / Men’s Ballet / Partnering
James Heeney is a ballet teacher who made his professional debut in 2013 with the Winston-Salem Festival Ballet, before relocating to New York and performing with The American Swiss Ballet, Ballet Long Island, and Baltimore Ballet. Additionally, James freelanced for several companies in the Washington DC Metro area and the New York Tri-State area.
James received his formal training with Ballet Chicago and Ballet Chicago Studio Company under the direction of Dan Duell and Patricia Blair. During his training, James was a recipient of the Philip and Marsha Dowd Merit Scholarship.
At Ballet Chicago James got the opportunity to perform several Balanchine Ballets. Who Cares, Serenade, Stars and Stripes, and Agon were among the performances he took part in. It was during the introduction to this style of ballet that he fell in love with the neo-classical ballets. James brings these Neo-Classical elements into the class to help the next generation of dancers achieve the expectations in today’s auditions and summer intensives.
Ballet / Pointe / Contemporary / Tap
Natalie started her dance training at the age of eight at a local dance studio in central New Jersey. While in New Jersey, she was asked by both The Ailey School and The Royal Ballet School to attend masterclasses and workshops. She has studied a variety of dance styles including Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Tap, Character, Flamenco, and Musical Theater. She has performed in multiple classical ballets including Coppelia, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle with the Jacksonville Ballet Theatre under the direction of Dulce Anaya. She also performed several times for Jacksonville’s Community Nutcracker and the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker.
Natalie began teaching at the age of fourteen and hopes to continue teaching throughout the rest of her dance career. Natalie has choreographed several dances and musical productions, such as Northeast Florida Conservatory’s White Christmas and River City Dance Project’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Ms. Natalie is very proud to be part of Alius Dance School where she can continue sharing with her students her love for dance.
Pamela Litz was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. At the age of two, Pamela began training under Debra Peters Rankin at Baggs Studio of Ballet.
Through Rankin, she performed with Jacksonville’s Community Nutcracker, where she danced most roles from Mouse to Dew Drop and Christmas Spirit.
In these years, she worked with many choreographers such as Mark Spivak and Dulce Anaya.
She attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts for high school and graduated from Jacksonville University with a BFA in dance and a minor in Business Administration.
Through the years she has performed as a guest artist in Cinderella as Cinderella under the artistic direction of Debra Rankin and Suzanne Saltmarsh, and the Community Nutcracker as Christmas Spirit.
Pamela has a strong background in ballet, contemporary, and modern, and hopes to teach students to trust their technical abilities and use dance as a tool for expression.
Contemporary / Ballet
From the age of seven years old, Danyel Smith knew she wanted to be a dancer. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, she grew up studying ballet and modern dance. She is a recent graduate with her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Florida Through her time in college, she has been cast in original works by Doug Gillespie, Brian Brooks, and Dante Puleio. She is trained in cultural and social dances like West African, Salsa, and Bachata. She is a member of Zafire Ladies Dance Company which has allowed her to perform salsa all over Florida and Cruises to Cuba and the Bahamas. Danyel teaches contemporary, modern, ballet, salsa, and bachata. Her classes are all about inclusivity, technique, and most importantly finding your own artistic voice through movement.
DaVina “Dallas Starr” Garneaux
Ms. Dallas is originally from Texas and moved to Jacksonville, Florida with her family in 2009. Dallas completed a 5-year contract with the United States Marine Corps in 2010. In 2013, she joined Jacksonville’s dance community, learning and collaborating with local artists and choreographers such as Kavin Grant and Sam Hills. She is a performer at InCahoots, co-owner of TNT Entertainment & Productions, and owner of A.I.M 4 Higher Artistic Fitness Program.
She began her dance journey at the age of five. Since then, she has participated in four dance teams and has choreographed and/or performed in many pride festivals in multiple cities, community awards ceremonies, and stage performances. Dallas has had the opportunity to volunteer at schools within Jacksonville’s school district to work with young students. Ms. Dallas loves teaching dance to children, especially at the more beginner level, and focuses on offering her students confidence as beginner dancers.
Ballet / Tap / Jazz / Contemporary – Assistant teacher
Abigail started dancing at the age of 2. Since then, she has trained in multiple styles of dance including tap, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, acro, musical theater, and clogging. When she was 10, she started ballet and it quickly became her favorite dance style. She started dancing at Alius Dance School in 2018 after participating in the Great Russian Nutcracker in 2017 and has danced in every show and recital since. She has competed in many dance and ballet competitions over the years, the most recent being the Universal Ballet Competition (UBC) in Atlanta with Alius Dance School where she placed in the top 10 for her division for both classical ballet and contemporary dance styles. When she began teaching, she started as an assistant teacher in 2016 at previous studios and began teaching at Alius Dance School in August of 2020.
Ballet / Tap / Contemporary – Assistant teacher
Isabella Reeves began dancing at the age of 2. She has received classical ballet training under Alexa Mieses since 2016. She had the opportunity to receive training from Bryan Jenkins. She has performed in multiple productions with RCDP, as Dorothy (Wizard of Oz), Snow White (Snow White), & is Alice for this year’s production. She has competed at the Universal Ballet Competition 2019, 2020, 2021. In 2020, she placed in the Top 10 for her contemporary solo. And in 2021, she placed Top 10 for her classical and contemporary performances. Isabella has been accepted to the Harid Conservatory for their 2020 and 2021 Summer Intensives with a scholarship, being one of the less than 60 students selected worldwide. Isabella began assisting and teaching the pre-ballet class in 2019 and says teaching & choreographing dances is always something she looks forward to.
Ballet / Boys Ballet / Partnering
Born in Cuba, Joel began his dancing career at a young age studying classical ballet with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. One of the best ballet training schools recognized worldwide by the best ballet companies. In 1990, Joel joined the professional flamenco company, The Spanish Nacional Ballet de Cuba; from there a long journey with the dance form of his ancestors would begin (his father hails from Southern Spain).
He toured the world with the Spanish Nacional Ballet de Cuba, performed at several Grammy Award shows, appeared in several music videos, and earned the opportunity to dance with a plethora of incredible performers, including Gloria Estefan, Madonna, Celia Cruz, and Julio Iglesias. When his contract ended with the Cirque du Soleil production Mystere, Joel came to St. Augustine, Florida.
Joel brings worldwide expertise and renowned classical background to Alius’ dance program.
Trenton “TJ” Shakespeare
Hip-hop Guest Teacher
Trenton TJ Shakespeare is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. He is a laid-back guy that transforms into an energetic, swagged-out, powerhouse performer. Born from the streets of dance at Florida State University (Kollage Dance Troupe), he lives through hip hop and urban movements. His style is energy-driven, sharp, hard-hitting intricate movements, infused with style and swag grooves. He has been choreographing for 10 years and is in his 7th year as a dance studio instructor.
Trenton is co-founder & co-director of i-Move U-Move Dance Workshop Series, currently active as co-director and dancer in WreckLess Dance Crew, co-director of Da Hype Fam (2 Hype, Lil Hype & Mini Hype), ImmaBeast and a trainee for ImmaBreathe (2 years). He toured the United States with The Greatest Love of All: The Whitney Houston Tribute Show (2018 & 2019). He has been a guest choreographer for Lavilla School of the Arts and the Jacksonville Shark Attack Dance team for 4 years consecutively. He has choreographed for the Terry Parker Braves Varsity Cheerleading Squad for 2 years earning the Best Choreography award in 2014. He’s taken 1st Class Athletics to World’s Dance Competition 2015 and Bollywood Dance Mania Juniors to Nationals 2015. Recently 2 Hype won 1st place overall and top style at Revel Nationals 2019. He is also the choreographer for young artist Will Harden & The PrimeTime Dancers who are currently working on his Stop The Violence Tour. His works have been presented in Florida, Atlanta, New York City, and Paris, France. He also produced a collaborative showcase, WreckLess Diamonds, with Mega Mind Productions (April 2017).
Trenton has trained through Kollage Dance Troupe (FSU-Tallahassee, FL), A Kavin Grant Productions (Jacksonville, FL), Mega Mind Productions (Jacksonville, FL), Spectrum Dance Factory (Jacksonville, FL), i-Move U-Move (Jacksonville, FL), Monsters of Hip Hop (Orlando, FL) 2016, 2017, 2018 and Monsters of Hip Hop Finale 2019 and Road to Build-A-Beast-Experience. He’s trained out in LA at various studios. He believes every time you dance is a chance to grow, reveal something about yourself, or speak directly into someone’s life. We are all connected and can grow from one another and he is spreading that love and message one dance at a time.
Antonia is original from Cuba. She commenced her dance training with rhythmic gymnastics and then studied at the National School of Contemporary Dance in Cuba. She also deepens her performing studies at the School of Musical Performing Arts in Cuba. She performed in Cuba as a principal dancer at the Cabaret Parisian and performed with European Vista Tour. Antonia was also a principal dancer at Casino de Montreal and Le Folie’s de Paris in Canada.
After performing in Canada for several years, Antonia migrated to the USA and danced for numerous performing artists such as Gloria Estefan, Cristian Castro, Celia Cruz, and Marc Anthony. She has also appeared in numerous award shows, such as Latin Grammy Awards, Premios Lo Nuestro, Premios Juventud, and Billboard Music Awards. She has also danced for several hotels in Las Vegas including Sahara Hotel, Mandalay Bay, and Hotel Rio.
Antonia has been a guest teacher for Alius Dance School since 2016 and we are glad to have her be part of our regular faculty.